Remicade and Alcohol

by on July 24, 2012

Remicade (Infliximab) is a prescription drug used for patients with certain autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.

Remicade is not known to react with alcohol although it best to consult your healthcare provider about your alcohol consumption. For most people, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol while on Remicade treatment is not expected to cause harm. However, some people may need to avoid consuming alcohol because of their medical condition and the potential health risks.

Alcohol Health Risks

Since Remicade is often used to manage symptoms of autoimmune disorder, it is important to be aware of the potential effects of alcohol on the immune system. Many clinical studies reveal that drinking alcohol may interfere with the many branches of the immune system. Alcohol may suppress the body’s ability to detect and respond to infection. In one clinical study, it showed that alcohol can likely reduce the formation of white blood cells which is essential in fighting infectious agents. In patients suffering from autoimmune disorders, alcohol can make the ‘problem’ even worse. Theoretically, alcohol can cause the immune system to function poorly making it unable to recognize healthy cells and even attacking it. This can lead to worsening of the condition and its symptoms.

In addition, patients taking Remicade may also be using other medications that can potentially interact with alcohol. For instance, people using Remicade for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are also prescribed with methotrexate. Ideally, people taking methotrexate should not drink alcohol as this combination may increase the risk of liver damage. At most, healthcare providers may permit drinking no more than two alcohol drinks per month while on methotrexate and Remicade treatment.

There are various medications that can potentially interact with Remicade. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider all drugs that you to take so that he or she can guide you properly regarding your alcohol consumption.

For some patients, it may be best not to consume alcohol to avoid worsening their condition. Alcohol can potentially worsen pain and stiffness in patients with arthritis. In patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, drinking alcohol can lead to gastrointestinal irritation and stomach upset.

In conclusion, although drinking alcohol while taking Remicade (Infliximab) is not expected to cause adverse effects, it can negatively affect your health and worsen your condition. While some people can safely drink occasionally, it is recommended that you consult your healthcare provider about the use of alcohol. This way you can ensure your safety and avoid any potential problems.